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Majority Of Americans Want Bipartisanship In Congress

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A majority of Americans think politicians should seek to compromise in order to pass legislation in Congress, according to a new poll.

A Gallup poll conducted between Oct. 6 and Oct. 10 found that 54 percent of the 1,022 people interviewed felt political leaders should compromise on their beliefs to get things done.

By contrast, 18 percent said politicians should stick to their principles regardless of the impact on legislative progress, and 28 percent were unsure.

There was a partisan split in the desire for bipartisanship, though, as 44 percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican indicated they preferred compromise and 23 percent argued in favor of sticking to one's beliefs. On the other side, 62 percent of Democrats advocated negotiation with 12 percent calling for politicians to stand by their convictions.

Recent examples of retaining principles at the expense of legislative progress include the two attempts by the Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which were abandoned after the GOP could not agree on an alternative. No Democrats joined the Republican side during the debate.

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In September, President Donald Trump proposed a compromise with Democratic leaders in the Senate and House to negotiate an alternative to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which enabled children who arrived in the U.S. illegally to obtain work permits or study.

On Oct. 8, the Trump administration released a list of principles on immigration that could make reaching a bipartisan compromise on the DACA issue more difficult, according to The Washington Post.

The document included demands for the funding of a wall along the Mexico-U.S. border, a clampdown on Central American children entering the U.S., and the curtailing of grants to so-called sanctuary cities.

"The administration can't be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans," a joint statement from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared, according to the Post. "We told the President at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures ... but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise."

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The White House rejected the Democrats' criticism, saying Trump's demands were necessary.

"These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients," a letter from Trump to Congress stated. "Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end."

Sources: Gallup, The Washington Post / Featured Image: Lorie Shaull/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: U.S. Coastguard/Dvidshub via Wikimedia Commons, Office of the Speaker/Twitter via Wikimedia Commons

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